There are ongoing and often changing opportunities to volunteer at First Church, from connecting with needy families at our annual Day4Hope mission to folding bulletins.
Contact us for more information.
Volunteering with Mission Partners
First Church helped found this ministry in Sarasota in 1971. Serving 500 meals daily requires the work of 450 volunteers. You can be one of them.
First Church has been active in ministering to the homeless in downtown Sarasota for many years. Resurrection House, a faith-based resource center for the homeless, offers a range of services and gives help to those in need.
First Church partners with Goodwill as they strive to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families. Goodwill helps people reach their full potential through education, skill training, and the power of work. First Church provides a turkey and other Thanksgiving dinner foods for forty-five veterans and their families. We often provide hams to veterans at Easter.
This annual event serves about 200 children who are homeless or borderline homeless and in desperate need of school supplies. Ways to serve include giving haircuts, medical exams, dental exams, taking photos of families, cooking and serving the children and their families, helping with parking or security, and more.
This ministry provides temporary housing and food for families who suddenly find themselves homeless. Our goal is to help them get back on their feet.
We partner with Salvation Army through their Angel Tree program to provide gifts for children at Christmas. We also provide volunteers to ring the bell for the Red Kettle Drive to raise funds to provide food, shelter and children’s after-school programs. Both of these projects benefit local needy persons and families.
We are connected to two churches in eastern Cuba in the Holguin area: Iglesia Juan Vicente Loma, served by Pastor Nelson Gee and Iglesia Madama served by Pastor Katia Lisbet Hidalgo. From time to time First Church sends teams to visit our sister churches and to help out. We have provided water pumps so communities have access to clean water, material for building repairs, and the pastors’ salaries on an ongoing basis.
Through First Church’s fair share contributions (called Apportionments) we contribute over $100,000 annually to the United Methodist Church’s missions and ministries which include healthcare, education, training in agricultural practices, disaster recovery, refugee programs and many more. For example, about 20% of our gifts go to the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) which connects the church in mission. This is accomplished by sending missionaries, including young adults, from everywhere and to everywhere; collaborating and engaging with volunteers; evangelizing and church planting through mission initiatives; addressing diseases of poverty and global health, and responding to natural and civil disasters. About 30% goes to benevolent ministries within Florida.
Caritas is one of the largest community outreach ministries. The primary purpose is to provide temporary, emergency assistance to those who find themselves in acute financial need. Giving to Caritas through First United Methodist is easy. Just mark your check or indicate online that you want to give to Caritas. 100% of your donation goes to help the less fortunate. If you’d like to volunteer, call the church office 941-955-0935. (Monday is our day to help those in need through this mission.). Someone will put you in touch with the right person.
Caritas is a joint effort of five downtown churches: First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Church of the Redeemer, and St. Martha’s Catholic Church. Each congregation is responsible for one day a week, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday is First United Methodist’s day.
Applicants may use the service three times a year, and records are kept. Each church complies with mutually agreed policies and uses its own budget to meet the emergency needs of the clients interviewed. All churches contribute to the Caritas Pantry located in the First Baptist Church facility on Main Street.
Caritas is located at 1645 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236. If you have any questions concerning assistance, volunteers can be contacted Monday – Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at 941-366-5620.
UNITED METHODIST SPECIAL SUNDAYS
First Church reaches around the world through churchwide Special Sundays with offerings which enable United Methodists like you to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage
self-sufficiency and share the love of Jesus Christ with God’s people everywhere.
Human Relations Day (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth.
UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent) Previously known as One Great Hour Of Sharing, this Sunday enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health and peace.
Native American Ministries Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.
Peace With Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.
World Communion Sunday (first Sunday of October) provides scholarships for U.S. racial – and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.